If you subscribe to current research, buyers are contacting vendors at somewhere between 60-70% of the way through their buying process. What this research fails to mention is this only applies to mainstream technology that is in established markets and where there is an identified and known set of competitors.
Buyers enter the buying process depending on technology maturity and buyer risk tolerance. I like to use the IMPACT mnemonic to describe buying cycles because I think it more accurately reflects what is actually going on in the buying organization
IMPACT The six phases of the buying process are easy to remember as they will have an enormous IMPACT on your company’s performance:
There are the Early Adopters (EA) who are happy buying innovative solutions. There are the Early Majority (EM) who want to buy the market leader. And there are the Late Majority (LM) who want to buy a commodity at the cheapest price. Here is where the buyer starts to engage in terms of the IMPACT process.
Early adopters will enter the buying process at 10-20% of the way through a buying process and laggards will wait till they are 90% of the way - and all they care about is price or the service discount.
Successful entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople selling disruptive technology must learn to recognize early adopters, understand how early adopters engage with innovative technology vendors and how they manage a buying process.
This is the subject of a new eBook from authors of “Why Killer Products Don’t Sell”, Ian Gotts and Dominic Rowsell, and Adrian King, entitled “IMPACT - the technology executive’s guide for selling B2B disruptive and innovative solutions”.